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20 Dead in Texas Walmart Shooting; Suspect Arrested

Officials are reading a manifesto possibly written by the gunman
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2019 1:52 PM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2019 3:49 PM CDT
Walmart employees react after an active shooter opened fire at the store in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.   (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)
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(Newser) – A suspect is in custody after a mass shooting left 20 people dead at a Texas Walmart on Saturday, the New York Times reports. Police say a gunman entered the store with an AK-47-style rifle and opened fire just before 11am, injuring 26 others and causing general panic before giving himself up to police. Officials are considering capital murder charges for the man in custody, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, and are reading an anti-immigrant manifesto to see whether the gunman wrote it—which could turn the massacre into a terrorist act or federal hate crime. "Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs," reads the manifesto, which says more Hispanics will make Texas "a Democrat stronghold."

Over 1,000 customers and 100 employees were in the store at the time, including children holding a fundraiser, who were among those shot by the gunman, the El Paso Times reports. "We heard shots and saw smoke," says an eyewitness who works at McDonald's in the store. "I saw a man on the floor full of blood." A customer says he saw "people crying: children, old people, all in shock," including a baby partly covered in blood. Nearby hospitals are treating the wounded, whose conditions and ages vary widely. The New York Times notes that El Paso is a mostly Hispanic city that has been flooded with thousands of Central American migrant families in recent months. "Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas," President Trump tweeted. "Reports are very bad, many killed." (Read more shooting stories.)

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